The Itinerary

The Itinerary

Friday, May 29, 2015

May 27, The Cotswolds to Southampton and the Queen Mary II

Wednesday, May 27 - Day 112 - The Cotswolds to Southampton and the Queen Mary II

We sleep well, and are both up and dressed by 8AM. It is a travel day! Jane, the hostess, provides another excellent breakfast of eggs Benedict. She also informs us that, at Jack’s request, she took him salmon and eggs and that he is eager to get moving...he wants to meet the Captain!

Carolyn gets the luggage fixed so we just have one carry-on and the electronics to carry on the ship. We say good bye to Jane and Holly House B&B and head down the road about 10:30. The GPS says it will take one hour and forty-five minutes to get to the car rental.

The trip is smooth with good four lane A and M ways most of the way. The GPS is right and after a final gas stop to top off the tank we arrive at the car rental place at 12:15PM, drop the car with no damage, a good thing because Dick didn’t take the insurance was something like $50 extra a day! They call a taxi for us and we are at the dock by 12:45PM.

There are a number of people waiting to check in, but we tell the lady we are in the Queens Grill and are immediately taken to a line where we will be next to check in; great this is going smoothly...not! Checked in, we move to the line for security. Unfortunately, it is moving rather slowly, most people are having to take their shoes off...a first for boarding a ship! When it is our turn, we get the computers out, empty pockets..the usual drill and right off the bat, Dick’s little pin knife with the one inch blade, nail file and tiny scissors causes a crisis as he puts it in the tray. "It is a KNIFE," the man says!...we must be going to take over the ship!! Well, after much discussion, Dicks gives name and cabin number for the record and we move to the x-ray machine. Now for the next hassle. The x-ray camera shows a suspicious little back rectangle...OK they want to check looks to us like the little USB drive Dick bought yesterday so Jane could print out our luggage tags since they weren’t available to print until after we left home. The security woman opens the electronics bag. The drive is right where the screen showed the suspicious item, she says that is not it. "I am looking for a knife." "No, the little knife is in the next tray," we say, "this is a little thumbnail drive!" Everyone stands around scratching their you know what’s, saying it looked like it might be a knife on the screen, where is it....we say no, it is the little drive....send the bag through the x-ray again...grrr. After another five minutes of looking at each other and backing up the other passengers eager to board, someone finally clears us and we walk on the ship and are in our suite by 1:30PM. No luggage yet. Carolyn kind of expected the stored bags from the May 3rd arrival on the Queen Mary to be there.
Oh well, we go on to lunch where Dick has a nicely done pan fried fish filet and a glass of a good white wine to improve his mood. Carolyn has a turkey tortilla wrap and a Bellini. She is going to make the most of this week and the marking of our 50th anniversary which is Friday! Then we walk back to the cabin by way of the open deck.

Back in the room, we meet our butler who is delivering the second of our stored bags. He asks what else is missing and we tell him. In a few minutes he brings those two bags and we spend the next hour or so unpacking. We don’t have to unpack all four bags, thank goodness, but do get out what we will need this week and rearrange the rest so we will just have to repack one bag when we get to New York. That will make the last day of the cruise a lot more pleasant. The suite is very nice and we look out over two other ships in port for the day and see the captain is getting his windows cleaned.

By now it is time for the life boat drill and we set sail at 5:15PM about 45 minutes late. We go forward on deck eleven to watch sail-away and see that the Queen Elizabeth has already sailed and is a good way ahead of us. We always enjoy the sail out of Southampton, but have always gone East around the Isle of Wight like the Queen Elizabeth does. This is our first time to go west. It is still clear so that is good, but cold so we don’t last long outside.

Back in the room we get dressed for dinner and go to the Observation Lounge for a drink and to watch the sail-away a little longer. By 7PM the land is disappearing into the haze and we are hungry. The dining room staff is a bit disorganized to day and some of the new people are not happy with their table assignments and are causing a little disturbance. The staff has also changed a good deal since we were on coming up from Cape Town. All of this is adding to less than the perfect service we had in April. Even so the food is good as usual. Dick has a broccoli and stilton soup and rack of lamb

all of which he says are excellent. Carolyn has a spinach salad and the shrimp tempura as a main and it is very good. We want some dessert, but by now the dining room is full and the staff is having problems with punctual service so we decide to go back to the room and order dessert. But, by the time we get to the room, the bed looks so inviting we skip dessert and turn in. We must be tired as Carolyn is asleep after the second page of her book and Dick listens to his kindle for over an hour before he wakes up and turns it and the lights off. Nothing like a ship’s motion to put one to sleep!

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